I have always loved strawberries. When I was three I named my cat Strawberry. Actually, I pretty much love all fruit. I dare you to find a fruit I don’t like. Wait, I have one for you: durian. My problem with durian is 100% the smell. I want my fruit to smell sweet or tart, I do not want it to smell like compost. Luckily I don’t come across durian very often. But I am getting off track here. Back to strawberries. Mmm strawberries. I mean, come on.
Last weekend I found myself with more strawberries than I could possibly eat and several bananas quickly going past their prime. I had been toying with the ideas of making a strawberry sour cream loaf and banana oatmeal bread for a couple of weeks now, but when all of the ingredients landed in my lap (or more precisely my fridge) in a must use quickly form, I figured, why not combine the two recipes for all-around deliciousness.
Now, it took a couple of tries to get this recipe right. Between all the fruit it was hard to keep the bread, well, bread-like. But after some careful tweaking with the formula, it came out beautifully: well-risen, moist but not gummy, and bread like. The end product is amazing, if I do say so myself.
Strawberry-Banana Sour Cream Oatmeal Bread
Yield: 1 loaf
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp golden flax seed, ground
1 smashed banana
1 cup vegan sour cream
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup soymilk
2 cups strawberries, diced
1. Preheat the oven to 325 ºF. Grease a 9″ loaf pan.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground flax.
3. In a separate bowl, smash the bananas with a fork, then mix in the sour cream and oil until smooth (a few clumps are okay, and unavoidable). Add the vanilla extract and milk.
4. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry with a wooden spoon until no dry parts remain. Do not overstir.
5. Fold in the diced strawberries.
6. Pour into greased loaf pan, bake for 75 to 90 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
7. Let cool for 30 minutes before removing from pan, then place on a wire rack to cool completely.
8. This is the type of recipe that is even better the next day, so go ahead and make it in advance!
A couple of notes: I like to cook with whole grains, so generally in baking I replace at least half of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat pastry flour. Whole wheat pastry flour is lighter and has a less grainy texture than regular whole wheat flour; it is also more of a specialty item, only available at stores with decent natural foods sections. I buy mine in bulk from Whole Foods. You could use all whole wheat pastry flour if you so desired, or use only all purpose flour. This recipe could also be made without the oil, but will come out denser and a bit gummier. It is equally tasty, but for serving to guests I would recommend adding the small amount of oil. I also think these would make amazing muffins– just reduce the baking time (probably 20-30 minutes)! Enjoy!